Encouragement for Exhausted Moms as we Await the Pentecost Fire.
The women, with Mary, before the dawn, found the stone rolled away from the tomb, and they heard the angel say, "Why do you seek among the dead, as a mortal, the One Who abides in everlasting light?" Behold, the linens of burial. Go in haste and proclaim to the world that having conquered death, the Lord is risen! For He is the Son of God, the Savior of mankind.
This morning I came downstairs to the aftermath of a canning process from yesterday...makes me wonder if it was all worth it. The basic clean up was done before I went upstairs, but in the light of day it still looks bad. Time to put away the canning pot and extra jars, to scrape the little drops of molten tar that was my light syrup off the stove and mop the floor before the kids come down. This is what we mothers do, often hurriedly, and in the quiet stillness of the morning. Often I pray and converse with the Lord as I go about such business. It's the perfect time to contemplate uninterrupted the deeper thoughts that sometimes enter my head as little connections that might exist between the water of my mundane daily life and the wine that Christ might make of it. There is much work to attend to, and much to think about as I do so.
As I struggle to restore some semblance of order to the disaster that is my kitchen, I can't help but ponder a bit about what it must have been like for those first mothers, the myrrhbearing women of the first century, in the aftermath of the public crucifixion. They saw the ultimate mess.
They saw their Lord totally discredited before the eyes of the world, and stood there as His followers scattered and left Him bleeding. The women disciples knew that neither they nor their children had anyone to protect them from the angry mob as they saw that their Lord had somehow been declared an enemy of their own people, and that He was sentenced to death, and had truly died.
They knew Peter and they saw him deny Our Lord, witnessed the cock's crow, and looked on as he fled. They stood beneath the cross, witnessed the cruelty that was shown toward Him, and they consoled His mother.
They then did something remarkable.
They went out into the dead of night, before the sun came up, to anoint the severely broken, no...the cold and dead Body of Christ with healing herbs and spices. They didn't think at all about the danger of crossing the soldiers, nor the heavy weight of the obstacle that would surely be there to block the entrance to His tomb, nor the pointless reality that no amount of healing balm would adequately soothe the wounds of a dead Body. Their love for Him overcame those fears. Then, after having joyfully witnessed the miracle that was the resurrection of that same Body of Christ, they took upon themselves the duty to encourage and care for those scared apostles who did not, or would not believe it as they hid in the upper room and waited...for what?
Did anyone anticipate the fire of the Holy Spirit?
Did the apostles have any idea?
Did the women know?
We see this so clearly reenacted today as we await something, we know not what exactly, but something to bring new life to the Body of Christ, and resurrect that which is the Church.
It is dying if not already dead after having been so savagely beaten by scandal, betrayal, abuse, and neglect. We mothers are witnesses to this modern-day crucifixion, knowing that it is very messy, and very real. We struggle to adequately prepare our children for the distress. We see Peter seemingly denying Christ all over again. The apostles of today are just as scared of wrongful persecution and many are just as quick to flee and hide. We true Christians feel as if we are, and have been, easy prey with no one to defend us or our children from the angry mob that now assails the Church. And now today, as if to add insult to our injury, here we are in quarantine, in the "upper room" of our domestic churches, waiting to see when we can go back to normal, exactly how many of us will choose to return, and with what kind of fire?
Yet, we are faithful because we have heard this tale before and we know how the story will end. We need not run away but go forth, gather our courage despite the fear and the danger, leave our domestic churches at the appointed time, and anoint the seemingly dead Body of Christ which is the Church, and when we do we will surely find that He is risen! The Holy Spirit will come! The apostles will not only come out of hiding, but will be on FIRE with the Holy Spirit when they do and thousands will be converted! We know the ending to the story and it will be marvelous indeed!
We mothers are now modern-day myrrhbearers who KNOW that He is Risen and will come again. We count on the Holy Spirit and will do our very best to hang on until He comes.